The Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Gen. Katumba Wamala on the 16th of June, 2022 inaugurated the 1st National Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Committee. This Committee has been formed in line with the Search and Rescue (SAR) Plan which has been prepared in accordance with international guidelines of ICAO/IMO.
The National Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Committee will oversee the National Search and Rescue Plan and coordinate Search and Rescue matters.
The Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Committee will have a Steering Committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Works and Transport, and a Technical Committee chaired by the Director of Transport.
The Government of Uganda is a member State of both the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These are specialized International Organizations of the United Nations responsible for regulating transport safety and security of aviation and maritime sectors globally.
These two Organizations have together developed a joint ICAO/IMO International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual whose primary purpose is to assist Member States like Uganda in meeting their own Search and Rescue needs.
The Ministry under Maritime Administration is implementing the Multi National Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport (MLVMCT) Project majorly to establish Search and Rescue facilities (at Lake Victoria, Albert and Kyoga) and a Maritime Training Institute at the Fisheries Training Institute (FTI) in Entebbe.
It has also set up a call center at Fisheries Training Centre to receive distress calls from persons on water transport using a toll-free code 110 from any network. Additionally, construction works for the establishment of nine Search and Rescue Centres are planned to commence in the coming Quarter.
For the maritime sector, improving Uganda`s Search and Rescue capabilities will significantly improve safety of our people and make Uganda`s maritime sector more attractive for private investment to achieve the much-desired modal growth.